Robert Heath Street barge trip on the Macclesfield Canal

The Macclesfield Canal opened in 1831 and was one of the last canals to be built in Britain. The Macclesfield Canal is 26 miles long and has 13 locks, the canal runs between Marple and Hall Green near Kidsgrove and passes through Bollington, Macclesfield and Congleton.

On the 22nd September, service users and staff from the Robert Heath Street project in Stoke-on-Trent took a barge trip on the Macclesfield Canal. Kelly Smith, support worker at Robert Heath Street explains…

The day started off from Robert Heath Street at 7.30am. We woke the 6 service users who were going on the Barge trip, and gathered the supplies we needed to take with us – coffee and biscuits were a must! The minibus was booked for 8.45am to take us to the marina and everyone was excited and looking forwards to the day ahead. Upon arriving at the marina we were shown around the barge, and had a safety talk.

We set sail at approximately 9.30am and our captain Tony Littler did an excellent job at navigating the numerous bridges (not as easy as it looked I soon discovered!). We cruised along the canal, taking in the breathtaking views of the countryside before stopping off for lunch at the Queens Head pub in Congleton at 1.30pm, where we all sat down for a lovely home cooked meal. With our bellies full we then set sail again back to the marina and returned back to Robert Heath Street. All the service users who went on the barge trip said how much they had enjoyed the day:

It was pleasant passing by and seeing the ducks, swans and a strange bird I have never seen before, maybe some sort of Grebe. Vlade Luzajic

We went out on a Barge trip and we spent all day on the narrow boat and went to a public house for lunch. We all had a good time – it was peaceful negotiating the waterway with bridges. There was a kitchen on board, and we all had cups of tea during the trip. The sights of the countryside and canal were very peaceful, as the quiet electric motor of the canal boat propelled us to the pub and back. The public house was called the Queens Head, and there we sat down to a delicious meal of our own choice. A most helpful and welcome break amid the countryside, thank you Creative Support! Martyn Ross

Nearly every year the staff and a handful of residents go out on a boat trip, which we did again a month ago. I think the boat trip was very calming and enjoyable. On the way there I couldn’t stop asking how long it would take to reach the pub for the meal. Finally as the day ended we came home by taxi and I think we all felt tired, and were looking forward to another boat trip. Janet Walker



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